Wednesday, January 15, 2014

2014 Blogger Challenge #2: Skin Care

As a teenager, I didn't have the greatest skin. My dad suffered from acne when he was in his teens and into his twenties. I also inherited this gene. I tried so many different medications, ointments, and so many other things prescribed by doctors and over-the-counter treatments. Nothing ever seemed to help. This problem of mine also did not seem to help with my anxiety and social anxiety issues.

I used to hide under my hair, hoping no one would notice me. This is funny for me to think about now because of how much I LOVE to change my hair and how short I keep it. I never would have cut it above chin length then (that was super short for me) because I couldn't cover  my face with it if I needed to.

Some days I wished I didn't have to go to school. Kids used to make fun of me, especially in junior high school. Kids can be seriously mean. As it is well known in my family, Rachael and I have excellent memories (Rachael's, however, is much more detailed then mine!). We remember things that other people in our families do not. I remember things that kids said to me about my acne at school. Comments that were meant to hurt and embarrass another kid. They stuck with me throughout school and really affected my anxiety as a teenager.

I used to wake up and wish I didn't have to go to school. I used to sit by the kid who told me I was the "ugliest person he'd ever seen" in language arts class and wanted to crawl into a hole. I hated walking into the cafeteria in fear of having all the seats around my friends full. Then, I'd have to sit by some other kids who might have thought I was "ugly" too. 

I was full of negative self talk as a young adolescent. I never believed in myself as a teenager until I got into high school (later on), found some amazing friends, and a place for myself (Go Colorguard! Thanks Guard Ladies!!). Looking back, I was so sad and depressed about everything. I was a good faker on the outside. I didn't feel the same way on the inside that I portrayed to the world on the outside. 

Now as an adult, I realized too, that I probably wasn't taking care of my skin the best way that I could either. I mean, what do teenagers know about taking care of their skin? It was overwashed, dried out, and unmoisturized. I thought that the more I washed it, the less I moisturized it, the faster my acne would go away. Now I know that is wrong. I really was perpetuating the problem by aggravating my skin even more fueled by my anxiety and wanting to fit in.  

Of course, today I take much better care of my skin. I do still get the occasional blemish, but even if I do, it's nothing to get worked up about. It's life. Now that I know how to take better care of my skin, it's something that I enjoy. It makes me feel relaxed at night to put my orange-smelling moisturizer on and have healthy-feeling skin going to bed. It's something enjoyable. Over the years, I've found some products that I really like to use that I feel really work for me and make me feel good.

Here are a few things that I've enjoyed using the past few months to take care of my skin:

Face Wash

I recently found Clean and Clear's sensitive face wash. My skin is more on the oily side. I do get the occasional breakout, but my skin is very sensitive to everything! This cleanser is perfect! It leaves my skin feeling smooth, clean of my make-up, refreshed, and not stripped of its natural oils.

I use the cleanser in the morning and at night. 

There is a toner that goes with this face wash too, but I can't use it because I can't use anything with aloe in it (I'll explain later). I used it for a week before I realized it had aloe in it! I had a reaction on my face and some serious dried out hands from it touching them when I used it before I figured it out! I hate not being able to use aloe! It's in EVERYTHING!!!! It drives me crazy! But anyway, I digress...

Sometimes I switch up my face wash and use Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser. I love how clean it makes my face feel. It says that it cleans deep into pores to dissolve dirt and oil and dead skin from the surface of your skin. My skin does feel really clean after using it. It does also remove my make-up.

A few times a week, I also use an exfoliant. It makes my skin feel soft and smooth. It's very gentle. I have found the blemish control scrub to be a little harsh for my face. This one is perfect. It's St. Ive's Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub. I know it says "deep exfoliant" on the bottle, but I feel like it is not too harsh.

Face Wipes

I can't  use anything with aloe in it--I get weird bumps all over my hands and redness on my face, so I have to be really careful about what I put on my face. The only face wipes that I will use to remove my eye makeup that I know do not bother or irritate my skin are Garnier the Soothing Remover Cleansing Towelettes: Sensitive Skin. These face wipes do not have a scent to them, so they really don't bother my face. I have trouble finding a liquid eye make-up remover that does not have aloe in it, so I use these at night instead for my eye make-up.

Splurge Product

I am not one to spend excessive amounts on beauty products. Those who know me know I love a good bargain and buy everything on sale! This purchase actually surprised me. I have heard such good things about the Caudalie Beauty Elixir that I wanted to try it. They recently came out with a smaller "travel" version at Sephora that was less than half the cost, so I gave in. 

Oh my gosh! I never thought that I would love a product so much! I spray this on before my moisturizer and sometimes afterward (just a light spritz) to give myself a nice pick-me-up and a little bit of a glow. I have been using it for two months now, and I have definitely noticed some differences in my skin! It is supposed to help tighten your pores, erase fine lines, and make your complexion more radiant. I definitely have noticed that my pores look smaller and my skin seems a little brighter. It also gives my skin a nice, silky texture. I think I'm in trouble :)


I recently found a new brand of moisturizer that I LOVE on sale at Walgreens that I gave a try. It is fantastic! It's called Lumene C+ Protecting Day Cream with SPF 15. There is also a night cream. The larger tubs are $19.99. Here is a link to the day cream with the night cream listed below. The day cream is on Ulta's website.

I, personally, found travel sized tubs at Walgreens (originally $3.99 each) for $1 each on clearance. I stocked up on a few. I have since then seen them on sale again. I think they are every once and awhile; you just have to keep a look-out. Here are what the travel-sized tubs look like:

If they're not available at Walgreens for some reason (I just looked on their website and couldn't find the night cream), I did just pick them up for my sister and the firming cream for my mom in travel sizes too. They had gift boxes for Christmas that had a travel sized day and night cream as well as a Lumene face wash (travel sized) for $6.99. I'm not sure if any are left, but I know that any Christmas box sets that are left go on sale in January.

This moisturizer is amazing! It makes my skin feel moisturized without feeling greasy or oily. Sometimes I find that I can put on a moisturizer in the winter and my skin does not feel any different than it did before I applied it. That is not the case with this product. And it smells like oranges!

Finally, I use Aveeno's Ultra Calming Face Moisturizer in the Morning in my sensitive areas (close to my eyes) in the mornings and then apply the Lumene cream everywhere else. This moisturizer reduces redness and makes my skin feel, just as it's name says, "calmer."

One thing I also do to help my skin is make sure I drink lots of water each day! I can tell that my skin feels dry and looks duller when I don't drink the amount of water that I usually do. I have a 32 ounce Nalgene water bottle from Target that I use to drink water each day.

I usually drink the equivalent to two of these each day (64 ounces), including the water in my water bottle that I drink during the day, a large cup of tea that I drink in the evening when I get home from school, and the water I drink if I go to a Zumba class that day. I try to start my day by drinking at least 8 ounces of water before I leave the house. That helps. During my work day at school, I usually don't have a problem drinking a good amount of my water for the day. Over winter break at home, I tend to forget to drink water, so I need to get back on the "drink water bandwagon" since I'm back in school. I just feel better when I drink more water and so does my skin.

The one thing in regards to my skin that I am having trouble with is my hands lately. I am so sensitive to different soaps, and I can't use aloe, so I have trouble finding good moisturizers for my hands to help keep them moisturized. I had a reaction to something I came into contact with on my hand, and I can't get my dry skin to heal (side note--I found out it was the toner!!!). Does anyone know of a good moisturizer that is thick enough and strong enough to heal such severely dry and cracked skin? Right now, I use Aveeno Naturals Daily Moisturizing Lotion, but it's not completely helping my dry hands right now. Any suggestions would be welcomed!

Thanks for reading!!

Love and happiness <3 Holly

**These are products that I enjoy and that work for me. I am in no way an expert or skin care professional.**


  1. Thank you so much for the follow.
    Follow you back on bloglovin.
    Lovely greets from germany ;-)

    1. You're so welcome! Vielen Dank fuer dein "Follow" auch! Ich wuensche dir ein schoenes Wochenende! ;) Liebe aus den USA!


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